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Elizabeth Warren’s brother dies from Covid-19


States are weighing how and when to re-open their economies as medical experts warn against returning too soon and risking another spike in cases. With another 4.4 million Americans filing jobless claims, pressure continues to mount on Congress to support the economy.

This is CNBC’s live blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak. All times below are in Eastern time. This blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks. 

  • Global cases: More than 2.6 million
  • Global deaths: At least 183,820
  • US cases: More than 842,600
  • US deaths: At least 46,785

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

1:28 pm: Housing demand may have started to bounce back from coronavirus impact

Sales of both newly built and existing homes tanked in March, as potential buyers hunkered down and potential sellers pulled their homes from the market, both watching their economy in free fall from the coronavirus.

Now, suddenly, buyer demand at least may be climbing back.

Pending home sales — a measure of signed contracts, not closings — are about 32% lower annually now, according to research by Zillow. But the week-over-week change in pending sales turned positive in the week ending April 15. Pending sales were up 6.2% week over week as of the seven days ending April 19.

Zillow also noted that web traffic on for-sale listings and requests to connect with real estate agents have grown in recent weeks as well. While web traffic to Zillow listings in some markets is still way down from a year ago, the national total jumped 13% annually for the week ending April 13. In 30 of the 35 largest metro areas, web traffic to for-sale listings was higher annually during the second week of April. Traffic was still lower in Pittsburgh, Detroit, Philadelphia, Boston and New York City. —Diana Olick

1:17 pm: Ousted vaccine doctor felt pressure to rush possible Covid-19 treatment after Trump spoke to Oracle boss Larry Ellison

Oracle Chairman and Chief Technolgoy Officer Larry Ellison delivers a keynote address during the Oracle OpenWorld conference in San Francisco on October 22, 2018.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

1:08 pm: New data on Gilead’s remdesivir, released by accident, show no benefit for coronavirus patients. Company still sees reason for hope

The antiviral medicine remdesivir from Gilead Sciences failed to speed the improvement of patients with Covid-19 or prevent them from dying, according to results from a long-awaited clinical trial conducted in China. Gilead, however, said the data suggest a “potential benefit.”

A summary of the study results was inadvertently posted to the website of the World Health Organization and seen by STAT on Thursday, but then removed. 

“A draft document was provided by the authors to WHO and inadvertently posted on the website and taken down as soon as the mistake was noticed. The manuscript is undergoing peer review and we are waiting for a final version before WHO comments,” said WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic. 

Gilead spokesperson Amy Flood said the company believes “the post included inappropriate characterization of the study.” Because the study was stopped early because it had too few patients, she said, it cannot “enable statistically meaningful conclusions.” However, she said, “trends in the data suggest a potential benefit for remdesivir, particularly among patients treated early in disease.” —STAT News

12:58 pm: Stocks quickly cut gains after report says potential Gilead virus treatment flops in trial

12:43 pm: UK to expand testing to cover all key workers

A man passes a mural showing a woman wearing a face mask, in Shoreditch, east London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Dominic Lipinski | Getty Images

Britain’s health minister Matt Hancock promised to expand coronavirus testing to all those considered key workers after the government faced criticism for failing to roll out mass checks.

Previously only healthcare employees and those working in nursing homes have been able to get tests.

The government classifies as key workers people working in jobs such as teachers, government employees and delivery drivers.

“We can make it easier and faster and simpler for an essential worker in England who needs a test to get a test,” Hancock told reporters. “This all applies to essential worker households too. It is all part of getting Britain back on her feet.” —Reuters

12:29 pm: 44 states are already paying the extra $600 in additional unemployment benefits

While the number of Americans without jobs keeps rising, more states are stepping in to provide expanded unemployment benefits. 

About 4.4 million new workers applied for unemployment during the week ending April 18, bringing the total number of out-of-work Americans to 26.5 million over the past five weeks, the Labor Department reported. 

“With the nation unable to mount the public health response needed to re-open businesses, unemployment benefits are carrying the weight and serving as the last line of defense for millions of struggling families,” says Andrew Stettner, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation and a leading unemployment expert.

But there is some good news. As of April 22, 44 states have started making $600 weekly payments from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program that was put in place as part of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package Congress passed in late March, a Department of Labor spokesperson tells CNBC Make It. —Megan Leonhardt

12:21 pm: Italy’s daily coronavirus death toll edges up, but new cases fall

Customers at a bookshop in Rome on the first day of reopening during lockdown, on April 20, 2020 in Rome, Italy.

Simona Granati – Corbis

Deaths from the Covid-19 epidemic in Italy climbed by 464 on Thursday, against 437 the day before, the Civil Protection Agency said, but the daily tally of new infections declined to 2,646 from 3,370 on Wednesday.

The total official death toll since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21 now stands at 25,549, the agency said, the second-highest in the world after that of the United States.

The number of confirmed cases was 189,973, the third-highest global tally behind those of the United States and Spain.

People registered as currently carrying the illness fell to 106,848 from 107,699 on Wednesday, a fourth consecutive daily decline.

For the first time, the civil protection unit published data on how many people had been tested for the virus so far in Italy, putting the number at 1.053 million, out of a population of around 60 million. —Reuters

12:07 pm: New York antibody study estimates 13.9% of residents have had the coronavirus, Cuomo says

People wearing protective face masks wait in line outside NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health Morrisania neighborhood health center, one of New York City’s new walk-in COVID-19 testing centers, during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Bronx, New York, April 20, 2020.

Mike Segar | Reuters

An estimated 13.9% of the New Yorkers have likely had Covid-19, according to preliminary results of coronavirus antibody testing released by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The state randomly tested 3,000 people at grocery stores and shopping locations across 19 counties in 40 localities, Cuomo said. 

“What we found so far is that the state-wide number is 13.9% tested positive for having the antibodies. What does that mean? It means these were people who were infected and who developed the antibodies to fight the infection,” he said. —Noah Higgins-Dunn

11:55 am: Georgia barbershop owner ‘definitely not opening’ Friday, saying many others won’t either

The owner of a Georgia barbershop said she is not planning to open her doors Friday, when the state lifts coronavirus-related restrictions for businesses like hers.

“I’m definitely not opening this Friday. I don’t have a calendar date for opening,” Diane Fall said Thursday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

Fall, who owns Maxim Barbers in Decatur, Georgia, said the task of gathering personal protective equipment and other supplies needed to meet safety requirements by Friday is too onerous.

“Yesterday I went on the internet just looking for capes because they’re saying you have to use one cape for each client. I looked for disposable capes, there’s nothing out there,” Fall explained. “You have to have an infrared thermometer to take the temperature of your employees and each client who walks in the door. This can’t happen overnight.” 

“I’m just not prepared to do this,” she added. —Kevin Stankiewicz

11:34 am: Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s oldest brother dies from Covid-19

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., talks during a round table discussion with childcare providers at her campaign event at Wise and Wonderful Daycare and Preschool in San Jose, Calif., on Dec. 27, 2019.

Dai Sugano | The Mercury News | Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s oldest brother died from the coronavirus earlier this week, the senator said.

Donald Reed Herring, 86, had tested positive for Covid-19 about three weeks prior to his death Tuesday night, according to The Boston Globe, which first reported Herring’s death.

Herring had been hospitalized for pneumonia in February and was later moved to a rehabilitation center, where other coronavirus cases were present, according to the Globe.

“I’m grateful to the nurses and frontline staff who took care of him,” Warren, D-Mass., said on Twitter later Thursday morning. “But it’s hard to know that there was no family to hold his hand or to say ‘I love you’ one more time—and no funeral for those of us who loved him to hold each other close.” “I’ll miss you dearly my brother,” Warren said. —Kevin Breuninger

11:24 am: House antitrust chairman says most mergers should be banned during the pandemic

House Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman David Cicilline said most mergers should be banned while the coronavirus pandemic devastates businesses across industries.

The Rhode Island Democrat is seeking to include the merger ban in the next stimulus deal, according to his prepared remarks for an event Thursday with the Open Markets Institute, a group that advocates for strong enforcement of antitrust laws. Under Cicilline’s proposal, only mergers of businesses that have declared bankruptcy or are about to fail should be allowed during the national emergency.

Ciclline’s subcommittee is currently investigating AmazonAppleFacebook and Google parent company Alphabet as part of a review of digital markets. He originally planned to wrap up the investigation and publish a report by early April, but has acknowledged the pandemic has shifted that timeline. Cicilline previously told CNBC the report would lead to regulatory proposals to make sure the digital marketplace is operating fairly. —Lauren Feiner

11:20 am: US airlines report their first losses in years as the pandemic devastates air travel demand

A United Airlines Holdings Inc. employee waits for a traveler at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Thursday, April 2, 2020.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Delta and United have reported their first quarterly losses in more than five years. Their competitors are also expected to release dismal results in the coming weeks. The next few months look even more painful for the sector as the coronavirus pandemic saps air travel demand during what is normally the most lucrative time of year.

Air travel has dropped by more than 95% as the Covid-19 pandemic spread around the U.S. Now, states hard-hit by the pandemic like New York are extending stay-at-home advisories for the next several weeks and canceling events through June in New York City, a sign that business isn’t even close to returning to normal yet. Bleak economic data and a rising unemployment rate are raising doubts about when travelers will return.

“People are fearing for their homes, not their holidays,” said Rob Morris, global head of consultancy at Ascend by Cirium, a U.K.-based aviation consulting firm. —Leslie Josephs

11:17 am: Coronavirus could cause malaria deaths to double in sub-Saharan Africa, WHO says

Malaria deaths could double in sub-Saharan Africa this year compared to 2018 because of the coronavirus, according to a statement from the World Health Organization (WHO).

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused severe disruptions in delivering insecticide-treated nets and reduced access to antimalarial medicines, according to a new modeling analysis from WHO.

WHO said countries should move quickly in delivering malaria prevention and treatment tools, and maintain essential malaria control services in a safe manner.

Sub-Saharan Africa represents only a small proportion of total global cases of Covid-19, though cases are increasing every week, according to WHO. The health organization said countries in the region have “a critical window of opportunity” that should be used to minimize disruptions in malaria prevention.

The region accounted for approximately 93% of all malaria cases and 94% of deaths in 2018, according to WHO’s “World malaria report 2019.” —Hannah Miller

11:14 am: NYC’s top health official says city’s confirmed cases are ‘tip of the iceberg’

Confirmed coronavirus cases in New York City are just “the tip of the iceberg,” New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot said Thursday, adding that “close to a million” residents have probably been exposed to Covid-19.

More than 147,000 people in New York City have so far tested positive for Covid-19, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

“That really I think is the tip of iceberg for a number of different reasons,” Barbot said at a news briefing. “New Yorkers have been heeding to our advice that if they have mild symptoms, at this point in time, when you’ve got community-wide transmission, having a test result isn’t going to change what we’re going to tell you to do.” —Will Feuer, Jasmine Kim

11:08 am: US issues new guidance for small business loans to make it harder for public companies to get funds

US President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference on the COVID-19, coronavirus, outbreak flanked by US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin (R) and US Vice President Mike Pence at the White House in Washington, DC on March 25, 2020.

Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

The Small Business Administration issued new guidance that makes it “unlikely” that big publicly traded companies will be able to access the next round of funding for the U.S government’s small business relief program. The update comes after a public furor that large companies tapped the facility, known as the Paycheck Protection Program, for hundreds of millions of dollars in loans while thousands of small businesses have yet to receive funding.

Companies applying for the coronavirus relief funds must certify that the loans are necessary and that they cannot tap other sources of funding, the SBA said. By definition, public companies have access to the capital markets. For instance, Shake Shack said it returned the $10 million it got through the PPP after it sold $150 million in new shares.

“Borrowers still must certify in good faith that their PPP loan request is necessary,” the SBA said. “It is unlikely that a public company with substantial market value and access to capital markets will be able to make the required certification in good faith, and such a company should be prepared to demonstrate to SBA, upon request, the basis for its certification.” —Hugh Son

10:31 am: House set to pass $484 billion bill to boost small business, hospitals, and testing

The House plans to pass a $484 billion coronavirus relief bill to replenish a small business aid program, fund hospitals, and expand testing. 

The measure’s expected approval in the afternoon will send it to President Donald Trump’s desk for his signature. The Senate cleared the legislation on Tuesday in a unanimous vote.

Congress will pile more money into an unprecedented rescue of the economy and health care system that will approach $3 trillion in total with the plan’s passage. The cash injection into the small business loan program, designed to keep employees on payroll during the pandemic, will follow a government report Thursday showing more than 26 million people filed unemployment insurance claims over the latest five-week period. Read more about what’s included in the relief bill here. —Jacob Pramuk

10:20 am: US new home sales fall sharply in March

Sales of new U.S. single-family homes dropped by the most in more than 6.5 years in March and further declines are likely as the novel coronavirus outbreak batters the economy and throws millions of Americans out of work.

The Commerce Department said on Thursday new home sales fell 15.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 627,000 units last month. The percentage decline was the largest since July 2013. February’s sales pace was revised down to 741,000 units from the previously reported 765,000 units.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast new home sales, which account for about 10% of housing market sales, plunging 15% to a pace of 645,000 units in March. —Reuters

9:48 am: Vet telehealth surges as first US pets test positive

Telehealth platform Medici saw overall veterinarian registration for telemedicine spike by 48% in March, and pet telehealth consultations rose by 170% month over month, after the FDA relaxed guidance on virtual visits for animals in late March.

Medici

As human telehealth visits are forecast to surge past 1 billion this year, the veterinary industry is following suit, at least for now, in order to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

On March 24 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced it would temporarily suspend a requirement for veterinarians to examine animals in person before beginning telemedicine in order to “limit human-to-human interaction and potential spread of Covid-19.”

The decision came at a good time: On Wednesday the first cases of positive coronavirus tests in U.S. domestic pets, in two New York area cats, were confirmed, along with four more tigers and three lions at the Bronx Zoo. On April 6 the first tiger to test positive for the virus, at that same zoo, tested positive.

The measure, along with an April 30 extension of federal social distancing guidelines, has resulted in a widespread migration to virtual animal care. —Sully Barrett

9:34 am: Stocks rise slightly as oil prices claw back more losses from historic drop 

Stocks rose slightly as oil prices recovered even more ground after a historic plunge while Wall Street digested the latest U.S. unemployment and earnings data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 83 points, or 0.4%. The S&P 500 gained 0.4% while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.3%.

West Texas Intermediate futures for June delivery jumped 21% to $16.63 per barrel as traders increased bets on U.S. production cuts. WTI also rallied on Wednesday. —Fred Imbert, Thomas Franck 

9:28 am: Leon Cooperman says the crisis will change capitalism forever and taxes have to go up 

Leon Cooperman

Scott Mlyn | CNBC

Billionaire investor Leon Cooperman said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that the coronavirus crisis will “likely” change capitalism forever and that taxes will need to be raised soon.

“When the government is called upon to protect you on the downside, they have every right to regulate you on the upside,” Cooperman said. “So capitalism is changed.”

The chairman and CEO of Omega Family Office said the country is shifting to the left and that taxes will have to go up regardless of who wins the presidential election in November. 

“Quickly if Biden wins, slowly if Trump wins, but taxes have to go up. So things like carried interest, capital gains taxes, the ability to roll over real estate sales tax-free, all that stuff is going to have to be eliminated. For the good, by the way,” Cooperman said. —Jesse Pound

8:58 am: Expedia is raising $3.2 billion as travel stalls

Expedia is raising $3.2 billion in new capital as the coronavirus pandemic has stalled travel around the world.

The company is raising $1.2 billion in a private placement of perpetual preferred stock and $2 billion in new debt financing. Funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management and Silver Lake will provide the equity investment and will each get a spot on the company’s board, according to Expedia. The funding is expected to close May 5.

Expedia said it expects the new funds to strengthen its financial flexibility and liquidity position. —Lauren Feiner

8:54 am: Gap warns it might not have enough cash for operations, as it stops paying rent 

Men wearing face masks walk past a Gap store at a shopping area, as the country is hit by an outbreak of the new coronavirus, in Beijing, China February 7, 2020.

Jason Lee | Reuters

Gap said its existing cash and the cash it expects to bring in might not be enough to sufficiently fund its operations, as its stores remain temporarily shut because of the coronavirus pandemic

The apparel company said in a securities filing that it must take further actions to find liquidity over the next 12 months, such as additional job cuts and new debt financing. 

It added that beginning this month, it stopped paying rent on its temporarily shuttered stores, which amounts to roughly $115 million in monthly expenses in North America. —Lauren Thomas

8:49 am: Oil jumps 21%, extending Wednesday’s rally as traders bet on US production cuts 

Oil jumped more than 20%, accelerating Wednesday’s rally, as the Street eyed continued production cuts and rising U.S.-Iranian tensions.

West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark, rose 21.4%, or $2.95, to trade at $16.73 per barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, traded 9.4% higher at $22.29 per barrel.

Thursday’s move higher comes after WTI jumped 19.1% a day earlier for one of its best days on record. —Pippa Stevens 

8:35 am: US weekly jobless claims hit 4.4 million, 5-week total erases all job gains since Great Recession

8:01 am: Indonesia bans domestic air, sea travel to early June

Indonesia will temporarily ban domestic air and sea travel starting Friday, barring a few exceptions, to prevent further spread of coronavirus, Transport Ministry officials said.

The ban on air travel will be in place until June 1, said Novie Riyanto Rahardjo, the ministry’s director general of aviation. The ban on travel by sea will be in place until June 8, sea transportation director general Agus Purnomo said.

Cargo transportation is exempted from the ban, the officials said.

The government is banning Indonesia’s traditional annual exodus for Muslim holidays. —Reuters

7:54 am: Target sees ‘Cyber Monday’-sized online sales boom

Target has seen a sharp increase in online sales, as shoppers try to limit time inside stores or avoid the trips altogether during the coronavirus pandemic, CEO Brian Cornell said.

Since its fiscal first quarter began Feb. 2, Target’s same-store sales have risen more than 7%. The gain, which compares with an increase of 1.5% in the fiscal fourth quarter, is the result of a doubling of its online sales, partially offset by declines inside its nearly 1,900 brick-and-mortar stores. 

In an interview with “Squawk Box,” Cornell said Target is trying to figure out if customers’ new shopping patterns are here to stay.

“We are spending a lot of time trying to understand how the pandemic is going to change the future of how American consumers shop, how they live, how they work, the things that they value,” he said. “But it’s been really hard to predict week by week.” —Melissa Repko

7:49 am: Another 4.3 million workers expected to have filed unemployment claims

7:46 am: The latest on East Coast hot spots

6:59 am: Tyson Foods shutters two major pork plants, tightening US meat supply

Tyson Foods is shuttering two pork processing plants, including its largest in the United States, after employees tested positive for Covid-19, further tightening meat supplies after other major slaughterhouse shutdowns.

The closures are limiting the amount of meat the U.S. can produce during the outbreak and adding stress on farmers who are losing markets for their pigs.

Lockdowns that aim to stop the spread of the virus have also prevented farmers around the globe from delivering food products to consumers. Millions of laborers cannot get to fields for harvesting and planting, and there are too few truckers to keep goods moving.

Tyson Foods, the largest U.S. meat supplier, said it will indefinitely suspend operations at its largest pork plant in Waterloo, Iowa, after operating at reduced capacity. —Reuters

6:52 am: South Korea to provide cash handouts

A couple wearing face masks amid concerns over the COVID-19 novel coronavirus walks through a market in Seoul on April 22, 2020.

Ed Jones | AFP | Getty Images

South Korea’s ruling party and the government on Thursday agreed to provide cash handouts to every household, not just to families below the top 30 percentile of income as previously announced, the finance ministry said.

The ministry separately said the government will issue additional bonds to fund the cash handout. —Reuters

5:41 am: Australia will push for an investigation at the World Health Assembly

Australia will push for an international investigation into the coronavirus pandemic at next month’s annual meeting of the World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the World Health Organization, its prime minister said, according to Reuters.

Australia wants a review into the WHO’s response to the pandemic and would like to see the organization strengthened. —Holly Ellyatt

5:21 am: Spain’s death toll rises to 22,157

Health workers at Hospital Clinic applaud at 8p.m. during the coronavirus pandemic on April 22, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain.

Xavi Torrent

Spain has reported that 440 people have died from in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of deaths to 22,157, its health ministry said.

The death toll has risen slightly from Wednesday, when 435 deaths were reported. The total number of cases has reached 213,024, up 4,635 from the previous day. —Holly Ellyatt

4:42 am: Merkel says ‘things will remain hard for a very long time’

BERLIN, GERMANY – APRIL 23: German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) sits at the Bundestag on April 23, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. Germany is still at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic and will have to live with it for a long time, the Chancellor said.

Maja Hitij

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the end of the pandemic is not yet in sight and people will have to live with the virus “for a long time.”

Speaking to Germany’s Parliament, the Bundestag, Merkel said, “We are not living in the final phase of the pandemic, but still at the beginning.”

“We have won time,” Merkel said, according to a Reuters translation, adding that this had been used to bolster Germany’s health-care system. —Holly Ellyatt

4:30 am: Euro zone business activity crashes to ‘shocking’ lows on pandemic

Euro zone business activity hit another record low during April in a new sign that the coronavirus pandemic is causing severe economic damage across the region.

The IHS Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index, which measures the services industry and manufacturing, dropped to 13.5 in April, according to preliminary data. In March, the same index had already recorded its biggest ever single monthly drop to 29.7. A contraction in PMI numbers — a figure below 50 — indicates a likely fall in economic growth overall. 

“April saw unprecedented damage to the euro zone economy amid virus lockdown measures coupled with slumping global demand and shortages of both staff and inputs,” Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, said in a statement. —Silvia Amaro

Read CNBC’s coverage from CNBC’s Asia-Pacific and Europe teams overnight here: China will give WHO more money; Spain’s daily death toll steady



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